According to the China Daily website, four people were killed and 23 injured in central China’s Hubei province when an explosion occurred, while firemen and medical workers were trying to fight a blaze at a government institute on early Sunday morning.

The mid-night blast occurred close to the Three Gorges Dam on China’s Yangtze river in the city of Yichang.

The second explosion took place while medical workers began treating the injured.

"Suddenly an unidentified person threw some kind of explosive into the scene," the report, citing eyewitnesses, said.

Shortly after the explosion a man committed suicide by self-immolation in a warehouse in the compound, it said.   

Local officials and police, refused to comment on the incident, saying an investigation was under way.

A 12-year old child was among the dead, the China Daily said.

Carrefour bombing

Three people were injured in a separate blast when a bomb went off in a Carrefour shopping centre in the Hanyang district, according to the Wuhan Evening News.

"Suddenly an unidentified person threw some kind of explosive into the scene"
Eyewitness account

But locals reported hearing two explosions at the time.

The bomb went off in a hallway between a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant, located within the Carrefour complex and the actual shopping centre

French retailer Carrefour was the target of a string of bombings that occurred in three separate Chinese cities in late 2001, while the US-owned Kentucky Fried Chicken was earlier this year targeted in a series of bombings at Western fast food restaurants in Xian city, northern Shaanxi province.

Meanwhile, three people were killed and five injured when a bomb went off in Baoji city, Shaanxi province late on Sunday evening, the Chinese Business View reported.

According to eye witnesses, the bomb was concealed in a metal box and was dropped off by a vehicle at a residential district on Jinwei road.

A woman who went to pick up the box was killed instantly after it exploded, while the driver of the vehicle was also slightly injured, it said.